Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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Ice Cave Trail- Closed

The Ice Caves Trail is closed for your safety. It is expected to open back up late spring/early summer

Address
400 Sam’s Point Road
Cragsmoor, NY 12420

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: There are no trash cans at this park preserve, please carry in and carry out everything you bring to the park.  Amplified music and drones are NOT Permitted.  

Lake Minnewaska and Sam's Point are experiencing extensive congestion on good-weather days and both sites are subject to intermittent closures as parking lots reach capacity. Please respect our neighbors and surrounding communities: DO NOT park on adjacent roadway shoulders.

The Sam's Point Preserve, located on the highest section of the Shawangunk Mountains, is the most southerly section of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The area comprises approximately 5,000 acres, and contains a globally rare community of high altitude pitch pine barrens. The pitch pine barrens, and the matrix of chestnut oak forest that surrounds them, provide habitat for abundant flora and fauna, both rare and common.

Sam's Point contains a bounty of natural splendor. It is home to Lake Maratanza, one of the five Shawangunk sky lakes; ice cave crevices that you can explore; cliffs and numerous scenic vistas. Verkeerder Kill Falls, is a spectacular 187 foot high waterfall located on private property, please respect the use of private property and remain on the trail.

In order to protect both the visitor experience, and the unique ecosystem, Sam's Point has a small parking facility. Visitors should plan to arrive early, or visit at non-peak times, in order to obtain entry.

For more information, and to register for public programs, call the Sam's Point Visitor Center at (845) 647-7989. Sam's Point opens at 9:00 am and closing times vary throughout the year. The vehicle use fee is $10 per car. The vehicle use fee, as well as gift shop items and snowshoe rentals, can be paid for by credit card, cash or check. Please note the parking area fills early. Please call the park office to ensure parking is available prior to your arrival. There are no additional fees for public programs, unless otherwise noted.

Sam's Point Preserve is located 2.8 miles off State Route 52 in the historic hamlet of Cragsmoor, New York. Please drive slowly, and quietly, through the hamlet, so that you may enjoy and preserve the tranquil nature that inspired the Hudson River School painters who summered here.

To explore the neighboring Minnewaska State Park Preserve, please visit their calendar of events.

School Group Environmental Education Programs

Dogs must be on a six foot, or shorter, leash.  Please clean up after your dog and dispose of properly.

Mailing Address
P.O Box 86Cragsmoor, NY 12420

Hours of Operation

  • Open Year round, current hours of Operation are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., hours will change seasonally.

Fees & Rates

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.

The easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • Vehicle Entrance Fee
  • $10 per vehicle

    Bus Permits:
    Bus permits (non-profit): $60
    Bus permits (commercial): $100

  • Snowshoe Rental
  • $15/day - Adult,
    $14/day - 17 and under

Key BCA Criteria:

  • Migratory concentration site
  • Diverse species concentration site
  • Species at risk site
  • Bird research site

The Minnewaska BCA is located within the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserve is located on the Shawangunk Mountain ridge, which rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level. The Minnewaska BCA has many spectacular rock formations, soaring precipices, windswept ledges with pine barrens, fast-flowing mountain streams, mountain lakes and several scenic waterfalls. The BCA is especially important for its unfragmented forest, which supports a high diversity of forest-dwelling bird species, and for its partnership with researches studying birds and their habitats. The Nature Conservancy has designated the entire ridge as one of the "Last Great Places." The Shawangunks, including Minnewaska, are one of the highest priority areas for biodiversity conservation in the northeastern United States. The Minnewaska BCA is part of the Northern Shawangunk Mountains Important Bird Area.

Minnewaska is part of a migratory corridor that exists along the entire upland plateau of the Northern Shawangunks. It is an exceptional example of a characteristic higher elevation forest community with a high diversity of forest dwelling species. The BCA includes birds of forest habitat including breeding Northern Saw-whet Owl, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Canada Warbler, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Northern Flicker and Scarlet Tanager; and breeding shrub/scrub species Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Indigo Bunting and Prairie Warbler. Species at risk include a pair of Peregrine Falcons (Endangered) that nest on the cliff face. Download a copy of the BCA map.

Deer hunting is allowed in specific areas of the park preserve during hunting season.  Minnewaska's hunting dates coincide with the NYS DEC hunting dates. Bow, rifle/shotgun/pistol, crossbow and muzzleloader hunting is permitted. Anyone interested in hunting on Minnewaska State Park Preserve lands must get a free hunting permit.  Permits for Minnewaska and the Sam's Point Area can be obtained by completing the application under the attachments tab and emailing over to Terri.McNeil@parks.ny.gov.  If you complete your application this way your permit will be sent back to you electronically or you can mail your completed application to one of the addresses listed below. 

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, PO Box 893, New Paltz, NY 12561   Attn:  Terri McNeil

Sam's Point Preserve, PO Box 86, Cragsmoor, NY 12486

All hunters must have their current hunting license first because we require your NYS Hunting License ID # on the application.  Your license ID # is shown directly under your printed name on your carcass tags or at a 90° angle on the right side of your license.  It is not your DOC #.  Failure to provide the correct number will void your permit.  After hunting season ends, all hunters are required to complete and send back the park questionnaire by 1/15/22.  

In-person permits will not be issued this year due to COVID.

Wed 01 Dec
Sam’s Point Gallery Spotlight: Through the Kaleidoscopic Lens by Dani White
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 until Friday, December 31, 2021
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Dani White is exhibiting an array of artwork, titled "Through the Kaleidoscopic Lens", at the gallery in the Sam's Point visitors center during the month of December. This collection of work explores the interaction between depth and color, and their relationship with the subject. Themes include landscapes, wildlife, and ideas inspired by the Hudson Valley region. Bold, rich colors in tandem with sharp, meticulous lines set the scene for a kaleidoscopic experience. Dani White recently completed an AmeriCorps program as a Trail Outreach & Education Steward working in the Catskill Region as well as at Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Stop by the Sam's Point Visitor's Center to view these beautiful paintings!
Sat 04 Dec
Drop-In Snowshoe Lessons
Saturday, December 4, 2021 11:00 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
This opportunity is being offered at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday in December (except Christmas Day), January, February, and March, weather permitting. It is designed for people who are beginners, interested in trying snowshoeing as a new winter activity. Each session will be run by a Sam's Point employee who will provide instruction on how to properly wear and adjust the snowshoes, as well as work with you until you are ready to head out on your favorite trail with confidence. The lesson may last up to one hour. Snowshoes are available to rent for this program at a discounted rate of $5 per person at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are encouraged to wear a mask when inside buildings.
Sat 11 Dec
Drop-in Animal Tracks for Kids at Sam’s Point
Saturday, December 11, 2021 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Join us to make your very own plaster track of one of the many types of animals that live at Sam's Point. While the tracks are drying, we will hike up to the Sam's Point Overlook, looking for signs of animals along the way. After making your tracks, stay at the Park to enjoy a family hike. Pick up your plaster tracks before you leave and report any wild animal tracks you see to a Ranger! All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are encouraged to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center
Registration: Required
Sat 11 Dec
Drop-In Snowshoe Lessons
Saturday, December 11, 2021 11:00 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
This opportunity is being offered at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday in December (except Christmas Day), January, February, and March, weather permitting. It is designed for people who are beginners, interested in trying snowshoeing as a new winter activity. Each session will be run by a Sam's Point employee who will provide instruction on how to properly wear and adjust the snowshoes, as well as work with you until you are ready to head out on your favorite trail with confidence. The lesson may last up to one hour. Snowshoes are available to rent for this program at a discounted rate of $5 per person at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are encouraged to wear a mask when inside buildings.
Sat 18 Dec
Drop-In Snowshoe Lessons
Saturday, December 18, 2021 11:00 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
This opportunity is being offered at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday in December (except Christmas Day), January, February, and March, weather permitting. It is designed for people who are beginners, interested in trying snowshoeing as a new winter activity. Each session will be run by a Sam's Point employee who will provide instruction on how to properly wear and adjust the snowshoes, as well as work with you until you are ready to head out on your favorite trail with confidence. The lesson may last up to one hour. Snowshoes are available to rent for this program at a discounted rate of $5 per person at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are encouraged to wear a mask when inside buildings.

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Amenities Information

  • Amenities
  • Gift Shop
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Visitor Center